Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - Today, millions of women and children will spend several hours a day collecting and carrying water for their households. Close to two billion people walk up to a kilometre to access their water. However, if the water is unclean it becomes the conduit for serious diseases like cholera and dysentery. In a statement from the Pontifical Mission Societies in Australia, issued on the occasion of World Water Day (22 March), the National Director, Martin Teulan, writes: “Water-related project requests are common.... These vary enormously due to circumstances, yet the common element is helping to sustain and enrich life. One project might be replacing water tanks at schools in Papua New Guinea. Another providing the plumbing for a kitchen in a seminary in Timor-Leste, or buying a hydro-pump in Myanmar, or digging a well in Ethiopia.
“Related support comes in the provision of medicines for clinics where people are being treated people for water-borne diseases, says Mr. Teulan, “or in paying subsidies for fuel and vehicles to bring doctors and nurses into isolated communities.”
Drought, concludes Mr Teulan, continues to affect many countries. “Eastern Australia has just seen off its decade-long drought at the cost of widespread flooding. Drought still persists in Western Australia, and in Vietnam, China, Africa and Latin America.” (AP) (21/3/2011 Agenzia Fides)